Getting Commissioned

Some types of articles that Addiction publishes are written by invitation only – including but not limited to editorials, commentaries, book reviews, and papers in some of our special series.  If you are interested in contributing such an article, please email the London office ( with a proposal.  If you want to propose an editorial or Addiction Debate, please first contact the London office ( for a proposal submission form.

If an article is formally invited, it will still undergo peer review and may be rejected.  When submitting invited articles, select “Europe, Africa & Asia” as the Regional Office.

The journal has a policy of not normally publishing commissioned material where authors have a conflict of interest related to the topic on which they are writing. This includes any financial link (shares, consultancy, employment, paid lectures) between any of the authors in the past three years or pending and any commercial organisation involved with the topic of the article. This includes articles that are sponsored or funded in part or in full by such an organisation.




Published at the start of every issue of Addiction, an editorial should be a significant piece of academic writing. An editorial is distinct from a review – it is shorter and provides a place in which one has the distinct aim of stimulating debate, identifying ideas, and pushing ideas further forward. It should make one or two key points that are more in the way of opinion rather than fact. The point(s) will normally challenge existing thinking, raise an issue that has been neglected, take a current issue forward, or reinforce one side of a debate that is currently under way. It can concern matters of policy, treatment, assessment/diagnosis, theory or methodology and should be written in a lively and engaging style with the point(s) very clearly stated. An editorial should also be written from an international perspective. Editorials should be under 1000 words and should contain no more than 19 references. There is no abstract but editorials should begin with a one or two sentence statement setting out the key point being made. 

Addiction Debates

An Addiction Debate article is an opinion piece up to 3500 words in length. It synthesises the research literature in a way that adds important new insights. It should be written in an international context and make one or two key points that are more in the way of opinion rather than fact. The point(s) will normally challenge existing thinking, raise an issue that has been neglected, take an issue forward that is currently being considered, or reinforce one side of a debate that is currently underway. It can concern matters of policy, treatment, assessment/diagnosis, theory or methodology and should be written in a lively and engaging style. Three or four commentaries will usually be commissioned to accompany these articles. Commentators will be chosen to provide alternative opinions on the debatable issue. Once the commentaries have been accepted for publication, the author of the Addiction Debate article will have the opportunity to respond to the commentaries, and the response will be published alongside the Addiction Debate article and its commentaries.  Articles that present empirical data should include a structured abstract (250-word limit) with the following subheadings: Aims, Design, Setting, Participants, Measurements, Findings, and Conclusions. In the case of non-empirical articles, other abstract structures (e.g. Background, Argument/Analysis, Conclusions or Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion) will be considered.


A commentary should add a further perspective or point of view to a particularly important research report or learned review. Rather than being a review of the article, authors should use the findings as a stepping stone to make one or two points of wider relevance to the field. Commentaries are commissioned by Addiction and are published alongside the paper on which they comment. A commentary should be approximately 500-750 words and up to 19 references. When commenting upon a research report or review, a reference should be made to this text at the beginning of the commentary and included in the reference list. There is no abstract, but commentaries should begin with a one or two sentence summary (the 'concise statement') setting out the main point.



Addiction Classics

Each article in the series presents a concise discussion of a small number of papers or books that everyone working in a particular field of the addictions should be aware of:  the classics. Papers in the series may focus on a single work if it is of great importance but will not exceed more than half a dozen books or papers. The word limit is 2,500 (excluding references). The style should be discursive, exploring how these works have influenced the field or the work of the author personally. These are not comprehensive reviews, but the authors’ reflections on what the classic works have contributed to the field, and why we need to be aware of them.

Addiction Journal Club

Every now and then a paper is published (in any journal, not just Addiction) that raises issues that need more extensive consideration than can be achieved in a letter. The paper may make an important claim that is not substantiated by the evidence as reported. It may raise important questions about methodology that should be aired. It may have important implications that deserve amplification. This is what journal clubs are for. Send ideas for papers you wish to write for the Addiction Journal Club to the London office by e-mail for discussion by the editorial team. Journal Club papers should be 800 - 3000 words, with one table or figure and a brief statement at the beginning stating your paper’s key point(s). Once we accept a Journal Club paper we will almost certainly give the author of the critiqued paper a right of reply, which will appear under the same doi (i.e. it will be incorporated into the same paper to ensure that they always appear together).We reserve the right not to publish the reply if, in the judgement of the editorial team, it does not add anything to the discussion.

Addiction Policy Process Case Studies

This series seeks to combine insights from theories of the policy process, case studies of addiction policy-making, and a focus on multiple levels of governance to answer key questions about how addition policy is made and the role that researchers and their evidence can play in that process. We seek submissions which go beyond descriptive accounts of the chosen case study to draw explicitly on theories of the policy process and increase the exposure of Addiction’s readership to a more complex but rigorous analysis of policy-making. Although analyses of national-level policy are welcome, we particularly encourage submissions which recognise that policy emerges and is implemented within both supra- and sub-national jurisdictions.

Data Notes

This series, originally launched in the 1990s, provides important findings and analysis from major population-level studies that do not require extensive introduction or discussion. Contributions are welcome from researchers who have analysed data from population-level data sets of acknowledged quality, from which they derive important conclusions that require little by way of introduction or explanation. Papers will normally be up to 2000 words with an introduction that may be limited to a brief statement of the research aims, rationale and relevant prior evidence. We believe this series can serve a useful function in allowing researchers to disseminate important findings of international significance about populations without having to go through unnecessary machinations to hone the introduction and discussion sections.

HCV series (New developments and opportunities for preventing Hepatitis C Virus among people who use and inject drugs)

This series highlights and documents the best new evidence emerging from around the world on the syndemic of HCV and drug use. We are interested in receiving systematic reviews, trials and other evaluations, ethnographic and modelling studies that inform and test how HCV can be prevented in people who use and inject drugs.

Methods & Techniques

Articles in this category may be invited or unsolicited. Methods & Techniques papers deal with methodological issues. They include descriptions, assessments or comparisons of 1) methods of diagnosing or quantifying addiction or dependence; 2) any measures or instruments (biochemical, physiological, behavioural, questionnaire-based etc.) used to study addictive behaviours, their features, causes or consequences; 3) statistical methods; 4) methods for obtaining study participants; 5) study designs; and 6) discussion or investigation concerning the nature and publication of addiction research. The scope of the category is wide, ranging from state-of-science primers on methods that are popular but frequently misunderstood through methods that are emerging and underused to original techniques. Papers should be written in a style that will engage readers without specialist statistical expertise and have a strong relevance to research in the addictions. The word limit is 3500 excluding abstract, tables and references. Where a study is presented, the abstract should be structured (250-word limit) and include the following headings: Aims, Design, Settings, Participants, Measurements, Findings, Conclusions; in the case of non-empirical articles, other abstract structures will be allowed.